Perhaps it was Lucy von Brachel’s first job in middle school, shelving books at the Greenwich Library, that set her on a path toward the town clerk’s office.
But it was art, specifically fine art photography, which gave her the skills that make her a natural for the role. Her post-secondary education was in photography and library science. Eventually, she was handed a 75,000 photograph collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
“It was a lot,” von Brachel said. “My first project was organizing and documenting an 8,500 image donation.” She’d also worked for a database company, converting data and training clients; a gallery, managing records, invoices, and artwork; and an auction house, planning photo and book auctions.
So by the time von Brachel moved back home, married to another hometown kid, she was an experienced archivist. “I like making it easier for people to engage with what they want to engage with, whether it’s art or a land record.” Once the couple had children in Greenwich public schools, von Brachel awakened to the pulse of local government in action.
“I started going to school board meetings.” She volunteered for the PTA, PTAC, and the Byram Neighborhood Association. Now she’s wrapping up her third term on the Representative Town Meeting, which is important experience for a town clerk, since they are also the clerk of the RTM.
“Town government should not be so political,” von Brachel observed. “It should work for its citizens.” Greenwich, in particular, has an abundance of commissions, boards, and committees, not to mention town departments, and the RTM. This is where she turns her curatorial eye to how the town clerk can help.
“With so many layers of government, it is difficult for residents to engage in a meaningful way, if they can’t easily find when and where meetings take place – agendas, Zoom links, recordings and minutes. There are ways to make it easier for people to find things, and do business with the town.”
Von Brachel believes her role as an elected leader would be to support the decades of experience represented by the professional staff who run the clerk’s office day to day. “The town clerk also administers absentee voting, and I think more can be done to give voters confidence that absentee ballots are counted. Greenwich has a high number of these ballots rejected, so the clerk can play a greater role in educating people how to fill out ballots correctly.”
With both of her kids at GHS, Von Brachel still works as a fine art appraiser, specializing in photography. So what was her favorite find from the collection she managed at the Met? A haunting pair of images taken in 1904 in Mamaroneck: The Pond – Moonrise. One of them sold in 2006 for $2.9 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction.
It’s clear Lucy von Brachel knows how to find the value in organizing and exposing documents and records. Please vote her into the town clerk’s office on November 7. Click here to volunteer.
A word from the Voting Moms
The Voting Moms are two non-partisan women with school-age children dedicated to doing the research about our local elections and presenting a fair and balanced assessment of local issues. Read their latest report, What You Need To Know About Our School Infrastructure Crisis.
Thinking about running for the RTM?
You can have a positive impact on Greenwich by running for the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). This November 7, every seat on this 230 member body will be up for election. All it takes to get on the ballot are a few dozen signatures. Learn more about serving here. When you’re ready to go, download the petition here and start gathering signatures.
State Reps come through with funding for Boy Scouts bridge repair.
The Scouts property at Camp Seton will get a boost from a $250,000 grant secured by our state representatives to repair a bridge damaged by one of the fierce tropical storms. The representatives are working with the Army Corps of Engineers, the state, and our federal delegation to find additional funding to repair the damage.
The extreme weather events of this summer remind us how important it is for our municipality to develop plans to protect our town facilities and homes as these events become more frequent.
For your calendar
What could be better than a relaxing summer evening of wine and cheese, meeting up with old friends and making new ones at beautiful Greenwich Point? Join us at 5:30 (picnic area just past 2nd snack stand). Bring your beach chair!
Please RSVP so we can be sure to have enough refreshments.
Save the date! Join fellow Democrats, our municipal candidates and our local statewide elected officials for our Annual Campaign Kickoff Picnic. Sunday, September 10th, 12-3 pm at the Greenwich Botanical Center, 130 Bible Street in Cos Cob.
Click here for tickets. We look forward to seeing you…rain or shine!
|Volume 2, Number 3 • August 5, 2023|
|Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.|
|Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836|